Partner Training – Week 8

upper cutPartner Training – Week 8
Tips on How to Be a Solid Workout Buddy

Over the last couple months, this series has introduced you to a number of partner training ideas including partner tubing exercises, partner medicine ball exercises, partner boxing drills and more. Before I introduce you to a few more ideas, here’s some tips on how to be a good workout buddy.  You definitely don’t want to be the training partner that never shows up!

Make The Commitment

Decide on the day(s) and time(s) both of you will commit to training together. You don’t want to have to decide when the next training workout will be at each workout – make it simple and easy so you both know the exact day(s) and time(s) each week. It’s not that you can’t be flexible and adjust if needed but you don’t want to have to spend a lot of time reviewing each other’s schedule each week to determine when you can find the time.

Show Up

Don’t be the type of training partner that makes the commitment to workout together but is constantly canceling or no showing. Be reliable and someone your partner can count on! Show up on time and ready to go!

Know Your Role

In any partnership, there will be roles that each partner plays. It’s important to understand what you bring to the table. Are you the motivator and the one who gets you both out there no matter what? Are you the one who plans active adventures that you’ll both train for? Are you the one who prepares the post-workout protein shakes or researches the healthiest places to eat? Maybe you’re the one who always reads and sends your partner links to good workout tips or training ideas, healthy recipes or nutrition research? Maybe you’re the one who always knows when the specials are going on at your favorite sporting goods stores or fitness gear shops?

There is always give and take in any relationship and long-lasting partnerships typically involve parties that both contribute and offer value to each other.

Be the Source of Motivation

It’s true that one of you may play a stronger role in terms of keeping each other on track and motivated but both of you will need to be a positive influence on each other. You don’t want to be the kind of partner that is regularly trying to talk your partner into skipping the workout or suggesting the not-so-healthy choices.  It can be a drain and a downer if only one of you is the source of motivation. Be a positive force to each other.

Find out What Your Partner Likes

Does your workout buddy like to listen to loud music when they train? What kind of music? Do they like to laugh and have fun during workouts or are they more serious? Do they like you to cheer them on, yell at them to dig deep to push through a set or do they prefer you to be a silent force? Do they like to compete with you to increase the intensity of workouts or does racing and competing stress them out? You will typically be drawn to someone who has similar interests and styles of training but it’s helpful to know how you can each make the workout experience more enjoyable for each other.

Remember Your Mission

Sometimes workout friends enjoy each other’s company so much that they wind up doing more talking than working out which can lead to substandard results. So have fun but stay on track and use your workout buddy to increase workout intensity and consistency versus detract from it.

Hold Each Other Accountable

Having a workout partner can really help you to stick to your workout routine since you know someone is counting on you to be there. You can take this to another level by giving your running shoes to each other. That way if you are thinking of skipping the workout, you’re not only letting yourself down but you would be negatively affecting their ability to do their workout too. This will dramatically reduce the likelihood of you not showing up!

Next week, we’ll pick up a few more partner training exercise ideas that you can do with a friend, family member, co-worker or partner.

Sherri McMillan, M.Sc. has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for 25 years and has received numerous industry awards including International Personal Trainer and Fitness Presenter of the Year. She is the author of five books including “Go For Fit – the Winning Way to Fat Loss” and “Fit over Forty” and is the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs.  She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver and can be seen running, hiking or cycling with her two children, Brianna and Jackson.  She can be reached at or Note:  As an avid Columbian reader, you can redeem a 2 week pass at her world-class training studio to help get you started.  Contact 360.574.7292 for more details.

Join us for the 32nd Annual Spring Classic Duathlon & Home Depot Half Marathon, 10K & 5K  April 24th
Enough Hibernating! Wake up, Get out & Race!
Choose the Duathlon or any of the 3 different running distances and let’s Spring into Action!

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan, holds a master's degree in exercise physiology and has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for more than 33 years. She has received numerous industry awards including 2010 CanFitPro International Presenter of the Year, 2006 IDEA Fitness Director of the Year, 1998 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, 1998 CanFitPro Fitness Presenter of the Year and 2005/2006 ACE Fitness Educator of the Year - Runner up. She is a fitness trainer, fitness columnist for various magazines and newspapers, author of five books and manuals including "Go For Fit - the Winning Way to Fat Loss" and "Fit over Forty" and the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She has presented hundreds of workshops to thousands of fitness leaders throughout Canada, Australia, Mexico, Jamaica, New Zealand, Germany, England, Spain, South America, Asia and the U.S. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver, the founder of WHY Racing Events & WHY Community, participates in various community fundraisers and can be found running, biking, or hiking around the community. Find more information at

Scroll to top